A US pastor is allegedly accused of sexually assaulting four male victims between the ages of 15 and 17, and is said to have paid the teenagers to have sex with his wife while he watched.
Rev. Stricjavvar “Strick” Strickland, of Kalamazoo’s Second Baptist Church, has been charged with 11 felonies connected to alleged incidents spanning from Aug1, 2015- August 31st, 2018, according to a probable cause affidavit filed last week in Kalamazoo County District Court.
The two juveniles told Ernestes, according to the affidavit, that both of them were students at Phoenix High School during the 2017-18 school year when they met the couple. Jazmonique Strickland, according to the affidavit, was a secretary at the school.
Both of the boys, who turned 17 during that school year, were alleged to have been paid $100 each to have sex with Jazmonique Strickland on separate occasions while her husband watched, the affidavit states. The pastor is also alleged to have paid the children each $100 so he could watch his wife perform oral sex on them.
Additional money was allegedly given to one of the boys to text nude photos to the pastor, the affidavit states. The pastor also allegedly sexually assaulted one of the boys and then gave him money after the boy told him to stop.
A third victim, interviewed in September 2018, told the detective he was 16 years old in 2015 when he was first asked to send the reverend nude photos in exchange for money.
Later, when the boy was 17, Strickland coerced the child into allowing him to perform oral sex on the boy, according to the detective’s affidavit. In exchange, Strickland allowed the boy to use the pastor’s vehicle, the affidavit alleges.
“It has been two years since these allegations first came forward and Pastor Strickland has remained in contact and available. He is not running from this,” Strickland’s attorney Michael Hills told MLiv. “Pastor Strickland remains ready to turn himself in and deal with these charges accordingly.”
Strickland previously denied allegations that he and his wife, Jazmonique, paid teens for sex.
According to MLiv, the pastor faces 15 years in prison on each of the first four charges, and 20 years on each of the other seven charges.
In a bond recommendation, Kalamazoo County Assistant Prosecutor Christin J. Mehrtens-Carlin recommends the pastor not have any contact with the alleged victims, his wife, or anyone under the age of 18.
“Per the reports, the defendant and his wife would use their employment at Phoenix High School (in Kalamazoo) and to some extent, the defendant would use his work as a pastor, to find male teens to engage in sexual activity with the wife, while the defendant watched and masturbated,” Mehrtens-Carlin writes in her bond recommendation.
Strickland called the charges “absolutely preposterous.” “All I can say for now is that we are prepared for this fight,” the pastor told MLiv. “God will prevail.”
Watch video below of Pastor Strickland defending himself amid police investigations: